As part of the festivities for Heritage Month in South Africa, Grahamstown and Kokstad will be renamed after historical heroes.
September marks a month of heritage celebrations across the country, and will recognise various aspects of our culture and tradition – from creative expression such as music, art and performance to historically inheritance such as language and food.
Although the whole month of September is known as “Heritage Month”, we officially celebrate Heritage Day on 24 September, which is a public holiday.
The theme for this year’s Heritage Month is “The Year of Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela: Advancing Transformation of South Africa’s Heritage Landscape”.
Along with the various and wide spread celebrations and commemoration that will be held throughout this month, the renaming of the two historically significant towns stands out.
Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape will officially take on the new name, Makhanda ka Nxele, after a Xhosa warrior, philosopher, prophet and military man who fought against colonialism in historically significant battles against the British garrison in Grahamstown in 1819.
Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Arts and Culture approved this name change after 20 years of deliberation with members of the public, academics, and historians.
Kokstad, in KwaZulu-Natal will also undergo a change of name, after Adam Kok III who was the founder of the town in 1863.
This Heritage Month will greatly focus on rising above the struggles in our country’s history as a nation and uplifting our people and traditions.